A decision announced during the past week by the U.S. Supreme Court will allow property owners to go directly to federal court when accusing the government of taking their property, according to a story by the National Association of REALTORS®.

The court voted 5-4 to back Pennsylvania resident Rose Mary Knick who disputed a local ordinance in western Pennsylvania’s Scott Township that requires landowners to allow public access to old cemeteries and burial sites. Knick challenged the policy and claimed it was a violation of her property rights. The decision overturns a precedent known as “Williamson County” that required landowners to first take their case against local government to state court, before going to federal court which had the practical effect of “killing” the challenge.

Find out more about this issue, the opinion of Chief Justice John Roberts and the majority and what effects the ruling may have on property rights law.